Using Minimalism to Improve Your Finances

>> Thursday, March 3, 2011

Editor’s note: Everlasting Designs welcomes our newest contributor, Jane Sanders!

The 21st century has brought us many modern luxuries and conveniences. The average person in the United States now lives with more luxury than kings and queens of the past, but with these additional luxuries have come additional financial obstacles. With a modern culture that places great emphasis on materialism success, many people are finding it beneficial to live an alternative minimalist lifestyle. Some simple pieces of advice can help anyone improve their finances through minimalism.

Vehicles: how many do we really need?

The average household in the United States has two vehicles, one for each adult. While this certainly is the cultural norm, it can be a terrible financial burden and is certainly not a necessity. Cars are extremely expensive to purchase and maintain, and their resale price is almost guaranteed to decreases from the purchase price. Depending on occupation and geography, the average family can get by with one or no cars. Consider utilizing public transportation if available, riding a bicycle, or carpooling with co-workers or your partner. When choosing a place to live, choose somewhere where conveniences like grocery stores and schools are within walking distance. Simplifying your life by eliminating excess vehicles will save substantial amounts of money.

Buy only what you can afford

Only purchase things that you can pay cash for. Ridding yourself of debt practices will inherently simplify your life as you will not be able to purchase so many things. Buy a car only if you can pay for it up front. This will prevent you from paying a significantly larger amount than the actual value because of interest payments. While it is sometimes wise to mortgage a house, renting can ensure your mobility and keep you out of debt. Eliminating debt from your life is a big minimalist step that will free up a huge amount of cash over the course of your life.

How big is your house?

Where you live has a huge impact on your finances. Consider your place of residence. How much space in your home do you really need? Many people have large rooms in their house they almost never use. Having a house that is bigger than you really need will cost you more not only in your rent or mortgage, but your utilities as well. A large house usually comes with a bigger heating bill and takes more energy to keep functional. A small home often provides all of the same necessary amenities with a fraction of the price. Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you need it. Simplifying your life and finances usually starts at your home, so seriously consider your current living situation and whether or not you need everything you have.

There are many other steps you can take to minimalize the financial burdens of your life, but these provide you with a basic idea of how a minimalist lifestyle can make life more financially stable for anyone.

This article was contributed by Jane Sanders from Debt Management. Visit her site for tips on choosing the right debt management service.

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